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U.S. Says Time Running Short for NAFTA Talks, Floats Bilateral Deals

Posted March 06, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Lesley Wroughton & Adriana Barrera – Reuters)

The top U.S. trade envoy said on Monday that bilateral deals could replace NAFTA if the pact is not renegotiated soon, ramping up pressure on Canada and Mexico, already smarting from President Donald Trump’s plan to impose steel and aluminum tariffs.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said political headwinds would increase the longer the negotiations dragged on, warning that time to rework the 1994 trade deal was running “very short.”

“We would prefer a three-way tripartite agreement. If that proves impossible, we are prepared to move on a bilateral basis,” Lighthizer said, reading from a statement in Mexico City at the end of a seventh round of talks.

He also appeared to seek to divide Mexico and Canada in the talks, saying the United States was making more headway with its southern neighbor than with Canada. Click here to read more.